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Methodist Commission on Aboriginal Affairs

At the suggestion of Arthur Ellemor, a much respected Methodist missionary, layman John Jago convened this Commission, which affiliated with the Federal Council for Aboriginal Advancement in 1962. [1]

In an article 'The Australian Aboriginal: Is Assimilation the Answer?', [2] published in The Spectator in July, the National Missionary Council argued that the 1961 definition of assimilation accepted by all governments meant that the Aborigines must give up their way of life, their culture, their law, their language. The Methodist Commission on Aboriginal Affairs held that if assimilation were to occur it had to be a voluntary process.The Commission was active in promoting the argument for an Aboriginal right to land at Yirrkala.

Methodist Commission on Aboriginal Affairs

Methodist Commission on Aboriginal Affairs

Source: Methodist Church of Australasia, Victoria and Tasmania Conference, Commission on Aboriginal Affairs, 1967

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Methodist Commission on Aboriginal Affairs

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Methodist Commission on Aboriginal Affairs, December 1963.

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Footnotes

1 J Jago to Rev C Gribble, General Secretary, Methodist Overseas Mission, 20 March 1963, Box 30761M 'Aboriginal Affairs', Uniting Church Archives, Elsternwick, Melbourne. This Commission grew out of the earlier Committee on Part-Europeans of the Methodist Church, which, as its name suggests, had a narrower concern than the 1962 Commission.

2 'The Australian Aboriginal: Is Assimilation the Answer?', The Spectator, 3 July 1963, p. 10.

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